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Smith commits to ODI captaincy role

Australia captain has no intention of handing over white-ball reins after below-par series

Australia captain Steve Smith has lamented his side's ODI woes, but has firmly denied he'd like to take a leaf out of Joe Root's book and play without the stress of the captaincy in the shorter formats.

The national skipper in Tests, ODIs and T20s, Smith came back down to earth during the five-match Gillette ODI series against England after his herculean Magellan Ashes campaign.

The best of Smith's remarkable Ashes

The right-hander failed to pass fifty in five hits as England's impressive 50-over side rebounded from their 0-4 Test series defeat by trouncing their hosts 4-1 in the ODI leg of their tour.

In contrast, Root, who was appointed England's Test captain in February last year but remains among the playing ranks under limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan, struck 226 runs at 75.33 in the ODIs.

Root top-scores with hard-fought fifty

While Smith firmly committed to remaining in the ODI job, he admitted the returns of both him and his deputy David Warner (73 runs at 14.60) have fallen short of expectations.

"I'm happy leading these boys at the moment," Smith told reporters after Australia's 12-run defeat in Perth on Sunday.

"Unfortunately I haven't done as well with the bat in this series as I would have liked. Probably both me and Dave as the senior players, haven't stepped up.

"We were talking about it just before and that really hurts your team when your two senior players aren't scoring the runs that they need to be.

"I'd like to keep taking this team forward and leading the boys and doing the best I can."

'We've been outplayed': Smith

The 28-year-old will incidentally hand the reins to Warner for the upcoming T20 tri-series featuring England and New Zealand, which Smith is missing due to the tight turnaround between it and the Qantas Test tour of South Africa.

Smith concedes it's been a "long summer" and he, along with the pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, will sit out the first JLT Sheffield Shield round after the BBL break to rest up over the next two-and-a-half weeks before the Test squad departs for the Rainbow Nation.

Warner is the only member of the 14-player touring party to be also playing in the T20 series and looks set to miss Australia's only tour match in South Africa before the four-Test bout.

"I hope he'll be okay. I'm sure if he's not he'll have a word and see how he's going," Smith said of Warner.

"Obviously South Africa's an important series for us, as is the T20 series now. We've got to start playing better white-ball cricket as a whole.

"I'm looking forward to this rest. It's been a long summer. I haven't contributed the way I would have liked in this (ODI) series.

Watch all 10 Australian wickets

"A couple of weeks off now to I guess refresh, recharge and get myself ready for what's (going to be) a challenging South African tour."

Australia sit fifth on the International Cricket Council's ODI rankings and in a 12 month stretch have lost 11 of their last 13 completed games in the format.

It's a worrying trend that Smith primarily puts down to poor starts from his new-ball bowlers and middle-order collapses, both of which were apparent at Optus Stadium on Sunday.

The visitors rattled along to 0-66 off their first 10 overs on a drop-in pitch offering plenty early on, while Australia's middle order faltered by losing 4-11 in a vital late period to hand England the ascendancy. 

Declining to be drawn into whether the team requires wholesale changes, Smith instead suggested the current personnel haven't been up to scratch.

Super Stoinis powers his way to 87 in Perth

"Starting with the ball and middle-order collapses," said Smith when asked to put his finger on the main issues with the ODI team.

"It's been a trend for us for about 12 months and you just can't afford to do it. You've got to have your top four scoring big runs and doing it consistently day in, day out.

"We haven't been able to do that. We collapse in the middle and don't give ourselves a chance to use the power that we've got at the back end of games.

"We've got some strong boys that can clear the rope at will but we're not getting ourselves in the positions to enable them to do that.

"Something's got to change in that aspect."

2017-18 International Fixtures

Gillette ODI Series v England

Australia ODI squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Cameron White, Adam Zampa.

England ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

First ODI England won by five wickets at the MCG

Second ODI England won by four wickets at the Gabba

Third ODI England won by 16 runs at the SCG

Fourth ODI Australia won by three wickets at the Adelaide Oval

Fifth ODI England won by 12 runs at Optus Stadium

Prime Minister's XI

PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Tickets

Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series

Australia T20 squad: David Warner (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.

England T20 squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Tickets

Second T20I Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Tickets

Third T20I Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Tickets

Fourth T20I NZ v England, Wellington, February 14

Fifth T20I NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final TBC, Eden Park, February 21

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